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Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5 & Lk. 10:13-16

Modern experts advise parents always to give their children explanations for the rules and regulations they make at home. Children should be given, so far as they can understand them, the reasons why they are to do something or not. But the fact is that the adult world is often so complicated that it is impossible for children to understand all that their parents require of them. And if they use their favourite word and ask 'Why?' there can be only one answer in many instances 'Because daddy or mummy knows best.'

Job looked up to Heaven and wondered why he had to suffer all that had befallen him. And so he asked “Why?” After allowing Job to search for an answer as best he could, God finally spoke to him and, in today's reading, in so many words said it was because He knew best. There was simply no way in which Job, a mere mortal, could comprehend the actions of God who was responsible for the guidance and direction of the Universe. God’s domain, like the adult world for little children, is too complicated for us to comprehend.

Job in the end was moved to accept in faith the wisdom and the goodness of God. We have much more to go on than did Job. When we recognise that God not only created us out of love but actually sent His own Son to lead us to eternal happiness, it should be easier for us to believe in His goodness. God does not change. He is not one moment loving and the next moment hateful. He is always loving. With the very love He has in sending us His Son, with that same love, He guides and directs every aspect of our lives. What confidence this truth should give us in good times and bad times, like Job, we have to face.

A repeated heartache of many a parent today is to see their children lapse from the Church and abandon their faith. Even though they have had the example of good Catholic parents and a sound Catholic education they have turned their back upon their religious upbringing. If this causes great pain to parents how much more acute is the pain that our heavenly Father feels when His children abandon Him?

There are some who would say that God does not need our love. To some extent this is true because as our Creator He is completely self-sufficient and lacks nothing. Yet time and again He tells us that He is a loving Father who wants to receive our love in return. If this were not so, why would He send His Son to suffer and die to win us back to Him?

God had expected much from the Jews because much had been given to them. Jesus had taught the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum the truth and backed up His teaching with miracles yet they had turned a deaf ear to His message. Jesus warned them of the consequences of rejecting Him, and the One who sent Him. They had a greater responsibility than the pagan cities of Tyre and Sidon who had not been taught the truth.

Today the temptation to follow alien gods can be very strong. Society encourages each one of us to follow the dictates of his or her own heart, even if this means doing what is displeasing to God. But we, who have the example and teaching of the faith and of good parents, are expected to repudiate such temptations. More is expected of us, who have been taught the difference between right and wrong. It is not always easy to keep the commandments when all around us are following the alien gods of greed, selfishness, or lust but it is our duty and responsibility.

Heavenly Father, You have given us so much, and loved us so much. We owe it to You to obey You and remain loyal. Let us listen to the teachings of Jesus, Your Son, the One You sent to save us, instead of following the world's ways.

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